Monday, May 23, 2011

Here Chick, Chick, Chick

The poultry shares from Jodar Farms have begun. Since I opted for the market CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model I’ll be picking up most of my birds, eggs, and eventually pork from the farmers market downtown. But that doesn’t begin until late June, so for my first share I had to go out to the farm.

Which was fine with me because I got to meet the chickens!

In fact, Aaron Rice was kind enough to show me all around. But did I have my camera with me? NO. What is wrong with me? A brand new camera, and I always leave it at home. At least my cell phone takes pictures. Please bear with the quality.

I was greeted by three playful and friendly border collies who led me into the farmyard. I was impressed they didn’t bother any of the chickens strutting around free, pecking and scratching and being, well, chickens. As opposed to “agricultural product.”

The egg layers are Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshire Reds. Most of them are in a fenced area outside with access to shelter indoors, but they also wander all over the farm.

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So far there aren’t any ducks or Cornish hens available, but there might be later. The pigs were hanging out in the compost area, rooting and turning it as they should while fattening up. I’ll happily be using part of my share on pork later in the season. It’s very hard to find locally and humanely raised pig. And there will be turkeys for Thanksgiving.

I forgot to ask what breed the meat chickens are, but they looked quite happy in their enclosure. My guess is they’re Cornish Crosses.

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Whatever kind they are, the chicks are adorable. The bunch below is a little over a week old. They need to stay very warm so they live in a heated brooder. It looks crowded, but there’s plenty of room, and they help keep each other warm. When I held one, it felt quite toasty in my hands. It’s heartbeat thrummed against my palm. Chicks have a very subtle smell. Baby chicken scent. It’s lovely.

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Speaking of babies, Aaron also showed me the mama cat and five kittens tucked into a corner. It was too dark to take a picture, but god, they were cute.

Besides all that? Horses and donkeys and goats.

Oh, my. 

I drove away with a bag of very fresh chicken and a dozen pullet eggs. The eggs are smaller than anything you’d get in a grocery store, with impressive deep orange yolks, and absolutely delish.

And the chicken? We tossed it on the grill with no brining and no soak in buttermilk, just a slather of BBQ sauce. Tender, juicy, and so flavorful – perhaps the best chicken I’ve ever eaten.

2 comments:

  1. That is just sooooo kewl. We don't have anything like that in Brooklyn that I'm aware of. There is a fantastic farmer's market every weekend near my kid sister's house and I've enjoyed the plethora of fresh veggies and herbs in season.

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  2. Nice insight into a meat CSA. Thanks for posting.

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